What to do in Oklahoma City - The Perfect Weekend Itinerary
Wondering what to do in Oklahoma City? You have come to the right place! I recently visited with the OKC Visitors Bureau and, with their expert help, have uncovered the best things to see, do, eat and drink in this vibrant city.
If by chance you’ve landed here without already deciding on visiting, let me say right off the bat that I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful city full of fantastic (and Instagram-able!) restaurants, great museums, and tons to do. So much to do that after my three full days there I could have easily spent many more days there! I truly fell in love with it and am already looking forward to returning.
Below I’ve put together what I consider to be the perfect itinerary for a weekend in Oklahoma City. Since there are too many amazing things to do there it’s for a long (three day) weekend, but you can narrow it down on your own as needed!
What to do in Oklahoma City - The Perfect Weekend Itinerary
Getting to OKC
Getting to Oklahoma City is possible via a few different transportation means. Their airport, Will Rodgers World Airport, offers nonstop service to and from 22 airports across the US. I personally flew nonstop from San Francisco via United but there are plenty of different options depending on where you’re coming from.
You can also arrive by car or by train. For more information click here.
Getting Around OKC
There are many different options for getting around town while in Oklahoma City. If you prefer to rent a car, the city is quite large and that’s a great option. But if you prefer to not deal with a rental, that is also totally doable in OKC.
While I visited I got around solely by foot, Uber, or via my hotel’s free shuttle (more on that below). I would have gotten around via the streetcar as well but it wasn’t operating while I was in town.
Speaking of which, the Oklahoma City Streetcar runs throughout the city and is an excellent way to get around. There is an app you can download to pay for your fare and it is incredibly well priced ($1 for 1-hour or $3 for a 24-hour day pass). Click here for more info on the Oklahoma City Streetcar.
Aside from the streetcar, there is also Uber, taxi service, bike, scooter, river cruises, and more! For more in-depth info on how to get around in OKC, click here.
Where to Stay in OKC
While in OKC I stayed at 21C Museum Hotel Oklahoma City and I highly recommend you do the same! It is a beautiful boutique hotel built in the former home of a Ford assembly plant. In addition to being a hotel, it’s also a contemporary art museum with more than 14,000 square feet of exhibition space. How’s that for cool?!
Because it’s set in an old assembly plant, the rooms have a very loft-y vibe. Their site describes it as “reminiscent of a loft apartment in New York’s Soho neighborhood“ and I think they really hit the nail on the head there.
The hotel has 135 rooms - everything from a 400 sq. ft deluxe king to their 2,828 SQ FT Interior + 2,220 SQ FT Terrace 21C suite - with something for everyone. I stayed in one of the deluxe kings which I found to be incredibly spacious!
21C OKC’s restaurant, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen + Lounge, is absolutely fantastic, too. More on that in the detailed itinerary below! There’s plenty of other great food and drink options within short walking distance of the hotel also.
Another wonderful perk of staying here is that they offer complimentary shuttle service downtown. This means you can get to most of the locations I recommend below for free!
Don’t just take my word for it, either. They were named one of the “Best New Hotels in the World” in 2017 by Travel + Leisure and made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards “Top Hotels in the Midwest” list in both 2017 and 2018.
For more information and to book your stay at 21C Oklahoma City, click here.
And with that, let’s get into the itinerary! Here is everything I recommend you do while visiting Oklahoma City.
After you’ve checked into 21C and settled in, head to dinner at Osteria! Osteria is a delicious new Italian restaurant and craft bar whose goal is to share the Italian philosophy of eating simple yet delicious food prepared and served by Oklahomans.
I was lucky enough to visit with a decent sized group which meant I was able to try a little of so many different things. Everything was delicious - you really cannot go wrong here. I especially recommend the octopus appetizer and the chopped salad which I had as my meal.
For more information on Osteria, click here to visit their site.
HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. (breakfast)
HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. should be your first stop Friday morning. HunnyBunny is a delicious breakfast spot, featuring made-from-scratch biscuits and a menu full of more biscuit-related meal options than I have ever seen!
Don’t worry — if biscuits aren’t your thing there are some other options like a greek yogurt bowl as well. Drinks-wise there’s a full service coffee bar, mimosas, and bloody marys.
For more information on HunnyBunny, click here to visit their site.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
You of course cannot visit Oklahoma City without visiting the National Memorial & Museum. In fact, during my three day visit, I went here four times. It is such a tragic but important part of the city’s history.
The OKC National Memorial & Museum has two parts: the outdoor symbolic memorial which is free to visit and the indoor memorial museum which requires tickets. I highly recommend visiting both.
The museum is very well done and really helps you get to know what a wonderful city OKC really is. One thing that truly stuck with me from this tour is that after an explosion or emergency in general, you usually see people fleeing from the scene. In the case of the Oklahoma City bombing, the opposite happened. They ran towards the explosion. Towards the danger.
Not just after the explosion but from that point forward. The people of Oklahoma City really rallied together to do everything they could for each other and for the city. So while visiting the Museum & Memorial is certainly not the happiest way to start your visit, I found that it was a nice introduction to OKC.
Make sure to save some time for walking around the outdoor area as well. I also recommend coming back to see the outdoor memorial at night when it is lit up.
If by chance you are with a big group, I highly recommend a behind the scenes tour of the Memorial Archives. You can find more information on group rates and programs here.
For more information on the OKC National Memorial & Museum, click here to visit their site.
Kitchen at Commonplace Books (lunch)
After the Oklahoma City National Museum & Memorial visit you will definitely be hungry and ready for something a little more light-hearted. That’s where the Kitchen at Commonplace Books comes in!
If you are looking for an Instagrammable moment, this is it. The Kitchen at Commonplace Books is one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen. It’s bright and colorful with wood and gold-colored accents — so many of my favorite things!
Aside from the ambiance, they have delicious food. The menu is primarily split into three sections: on greens, on toast, and on polenta. I personally got the avocado and egg on toast and loved it. There’s also a small snack section, a full coffee and tea menu, and even cocktails and wine!
My only regret is not having more time here. Don’t miss it.
For more information on the Kitchen at Commonplace Books, click here to visit their site.
Ride OKC Bike + Brews Tour
Next up, my favorite way to see any new city, by bike! And what better way to spice up a bike tour than by adding in some brewery stops, right?! Right.
Ride OKC’s Bike + Brews tour is so much fun and the perfect way to get a city overview. The tour is around three hours long, with stops at five breweries and a few other notable sites along the way. If three hours seems like a long time, don’t worry, it’s very leisurely and relaxed.
If you aren’t big on breweries, no worries! There are two other Ride OKC options: a cookie tour (yum!) and an art + architecture tour.
For more information on Ride OKC, click here to visit their site!
Grey Sweater (dinner)
For dinner you absolutely must go to Grey Sweater. Of all the amazing food I had in OKC (and I had a lot), there is nothing I recommend more than this.
Grey Sweater is the latest creation from Chef Andrew Black, a popular local chef, offering a three-tiered tasting menu that is out of this world. Officially opening in June 2019 (that’s now!), we were able to get a sneak peak prior to the official opening.
The attention to detail that goes into every single plate here is reason enough to visit. From the chanterelle mushroom reduction soup with gold leaf served in an egg to the chicken stuffed with Maine lobster, it’s impossible to pick a favorite!
For more information on Grey Sweater, click here.
Kick off day two with breakfast at Aurora in the lovely Plaza District. Aurora is a beautiful space serving made-from-scratch food and craft coffee. They use only fresh, local ingredients, aiming to provide you with a delicious meal full of nutrients and real flavors. Right up my alley, and hopefully yours, too!
I personally ordered the tacos at Yelp’s recommendation. They aren’t the most photogenic thing I’ve ever seen, but they were good!
If you find yourself here on a nice day, they have a fun backyard area too. Perfect for enjoying while waiting for a table, if need be.
For more information on Aurora, click here.
After breakfast it’s time to explore the Plaza District, especially the Plaza Walls. Plaza Walls is a rotating mural project with a mission to increase public art throughout Oklahoma, establish the first mural district in the state, and create an easy way for artists to paint murals.
Managed and produced by The Oklahoma Mural Syndicate, they have transformed what apparently used to be a not-so-lovely alley into a beautiful, photogenic, outdoor art gallery. In total it’s a collection of 30+ murals from 25+ artists on a canvas longer than a football field.
There’s also an indoor gallery where you can purchase high quality prints of the murals. Because it’s rotating, even if you’ve visited before there’s always reason to visit again! Overall, this group is doing really great things for the community and it’s a good opportunity to offer support if you are able.
For more information on Plaza Walls, click here.
If you’re a really big mural lover and you want to a more detailed guide on all of the different murals in OKC, click here for a great post by my friends over at Camels and Chocolate!
Once you’re done at Plaza Walls, don’t forget to poke around the rest of the district a bit. There are some cool locally-owned stores and boutiques.
The Halls Pizza (lunch)
Once you’re done in the Plaza District, it’s time to head to The Halls Pizza for lunch. The Halls family opened The Halls Pizza originally as a food truck. It turned out the people of OKC love wood fired pizza just as much as the Halls do, so now they have this beautiful brick and mortar which they call an extension of their home.
Don’t let the above photos fool you; we were lucky enough to be joined at our lunch here by Mayor David Holt so I did not run around the venue taking a million photos as I normally would. Trust me when I say though that the interior was to die for. There’s also an outdoor rooftop with views of the city which is where we were seated.
As far as food goes here, you can’t go wrong with the pizzas. We tried a handful of different ones - I specifically ordered Russel the Goat - and they seemed to all be a hit! So much so that we stuffed ourselves to excess and had to order their amazing salted caramel chocolate chip cookies to-go.
Pro tip: order your pizzas half and half so that can you try more types! :)
For more information on The Halls Pizza, click here.
After lunch it’s time to head to Factory Obscura for their latest experience, Mix Tape. Mix Tape is an immersive art experience that can’t quite be captured fully in photo format. You have to see it for yourself!
Phase 1 which is what I saw is currently open and completely free until September 20th when Phase 2 opens. Phase 1 consists of the King’s Mouth, an installation from the Flaming Lips, previously located at ultra-popular Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM. There’s also a Boombox interactive window display which is visible from the outside 24/7 (including outside of visiting hours, of course).
Phase 2 will include much more - with 6,000 square feet of art that without a doubt will be a sight to see! Phase 1 is worth a quick, free visit though if you happen to be in town prior to the full opening.
For more information on Factory Obscura’s new Mix Tape experience, click here.
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Stop by Coffee Slingers Roasters for a coffee break!
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Next up, Myriad Botanical Gardens! Full disclosure: I haven’t actually been here. It was one of the places I was the most excited to check out while visiting and it ended up being closed the entire time! Major bummer but I look forward to seeing it next time.
And while I don’t normally suggest things that I haven’t actually done myself, I’m pretty confident you should check this out. It’s right in the heart of town, walking distance from 21C, and has the most beautiful Crystal Bridge Conservatory (the reason I wanted to visit!).
There are also walking or running paths, a dog park, and more. The perfect afternoon greenery escape.
For more information on Myriad Botanical Gardens, click here.
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge (dinner)
By dinner time hopefully you have worked up an appetite because you will want it at Mary Eddy’s! Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge is conveniently located at your hotel, 21C, so your commute here should be quite short.
Mary Eddy’s is yet another fantastic spot (are you sensing a trend here?) with so many amazing things to try. They offer New American cuisine with a bold twist so it’s not your average menu. For example, the mac and cheese is made with Ritz cracker crumbs!
If you are a salad lover like I am, the salads here are especially to die for. I couldn’t stop going back for more. I also really loved the okra, shishito peppers, and chicken. Drinks-wise I especially loved the “Laid Back”.
For more information on Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, click here.
Start Sunday off with a delicious and nutritious breakfast at Stitch, located just around the corner from 21C. It’s a neighborhood cafe located in a shared space with a plant shop, making it about right up my alley as humanly possible.
Stitch is perfect for your last day because you can spend some time here at leisure if you’d like or you can grab something more quickly if that is desired, too. There are tons of healthy options and everything is fresh, seasonal, and, as they say, damn delicious!
For more information on Stitch, click here.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
After lunch it’s time to visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, home to one of the largest collections of Chihuly glass in the world! In addition to the permanently Chihuly display there are other exhibitions at the museum throughout the year.
If you are a Dale Chihuly fan as I am, or even if you are not yet, you will be amazed by the gallery. I especially love the Float Boat and Ikebana Boat installations which a recent redesign has made possible to view from all sides.
For more information on the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, click here.
Museum Cafe (lunch)
If you are feeling hungry after the museum, stop by the Museum Cafe for a light lunch.
Click here for more information on the Museum Cafe.
Above rafting photos by Phillip Fryman of Southern Fatty
Riversport Rapids OKC Whitewater Rafting
Before you head home we’ve got to get one more adventure in, and what better way than by whitewater rafting in the middle of the city?! No experience necessary!
OKC is home to a $45.2 million whitewater rafting and kayaking center, Riversport Rapids. Here you and your friends can (after proper safety training) hop in a raft, be taken to the top of the rapids via conveyor belt, and ride your way down the class II-IV rapids. To say this is fun would be a complete understatement!
For more information on whitewater rafting at Riversport Rapids, click here.
And if you aren’t up for whitewater rafting, there are other options at Riversport as well. Click here for more information on those.
Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
If you have time before your flight takes off, head to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, Oklahoma's largest and most popular cultural attraction! It is honestly the best zoo I can remember visiting. Not only is it huge with tons of different animals, but it’s also so thoughtfully designed.
Unlike all of the zoos I have been to in recent memory, you can really see the animals here. Often the viewpoints are raised, giving you a clear view down into the entire exhibit. It offers such a unique perspective compared to other zoos I’ve visited.
I also love that they are so dedicated to conservation and preservation, aiding in numerous local, national and international conservation projects. You can read more about that here.
For more information on visiting the OKC Zoo, click here!
Other Oklahoma City Recommendations
Need even more things to do in Oklahoma City? Here are some other things I recommend, if you are lucky enough to have more time!
Bar Arbolada — the cutest boutique bar, walking distance from 21C!
Bleu Garten — a very cool outdoor food truck park! Great for a meal and/or drinks.
O Bar — an upscale rooftop bar with my favorite view in OKC.
The Boom — OKC’s premiere LGBTQ-inclusive dinner theater and nightclub. We went to such a fun drag show here!
Cafe Disco — for french macaroons and specialty coffee. Walking distance from 21C.
Holey Rollers — for dairy and egg-free donuts.
Automobile Alley — a fun district to walk around! Full of cute boutiques and restaurants.
Wheeler District — home to the OKC Ferris Wheel! Fun fact: it used to live on the Santa Monica Pier until they purchased it on eBay, brought it to OKC, and refurbished it.
This post was done in partnership with Visit OKC. Thank you so much for having me! Everything above is my own opinion, as always.